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After yesterday's near perfect spring day at Loveland, the forecast for today was less promising with partially sunny skies giving way to mostly overcast by late morning. We were thinking of Copper Mountain, but decided that we didn't want to spend $105 per person to ski scratchy snow for most of the day so we drove another 30 minutes to a place I've never seen covered in an online TR. Here we are driving past Copper:
We stopped at Ski Cooper's nearby hometown, Leadville, and walked around for a bit, where you see a fair amount of mining ephemera :
Who the hell came up with the name for this gas station/convenience store chain?
A mural of the 10th Mountain Division:
Ski Cooper is a small ski area with 1,200 vertical feet and a friendly community feel.
There are signs all over the property about how the famed 10th Mountain Division trained at Cooper Hill before being deployed in the Alps during WWII:
We were surprised to find quite a few cars in the parking lot on a Monday, all families/mostly beginners, for which Cooper is perfectly suited. Despite the overcast skies, the snow softened up nicely by 11 am and was really nice for high-speed cruising through the trees. My wife and I both mentioned that Cooper felt on a few levels (terrain, views) like a smaller Colorado version of New Mexico's Angel Fire, but with no onsite hotels:
We had a nice lunch in the Irish pub at the base lodge:
In short: a very pleasant family ski hill. Perfect if you have younger kids or lower-level skiers (our son would've loved it). Not necessarily worth checking out for stronger skiers.
Looks like a great place to take your wife..I dig the look of the town, very Butch Cassidy like..
"Peace and Love"
The real draw for experts is the Cat skiing up on the Continental Divide. It's reasonable priced (for Cat Skiing) and great terrain with some big bowls and good trees.
if You French Fry when you should Pizza you are going to have a bad time